Sophomore continues ‘Wack’ attack

first_imgKRIS UGARRIZA/Herald photoAfter Allison Wack followed her sister to the Wisconsin volleyball team, the comparisons became inevitable. Allison — the younger sister of former Badger Jocelyn Wack — understands this and doesn’t expect questions about it to let up. It wasn’t her sister, however, who sold her on UW.“I suppose indirectly [Jocelyn] influenced me,” Allison said. “I first saw the Field House when she was getting recruited, and I came to a match with her. It was the atmosphere of playing volleyball here that really sold me. I didn’t come here because of her, but when Coach [Waite] was recruiting her, he influenced me.”On the court, there is really no comparison. The older Wack was a four-year starter at the libero position, while sophomore Allison lines up as an outside hitter.“We don’t compare them here because they are two totally different players,” assistant coach Colleen Bayer said. “They look alike and they sound alike, but that is where the similarities end.”While they play very differently, Allison and Jocelyn present a similar demeanor on the court.“They are both really composed on the court,” junior Brittney Dolgner said. “If things aren’t going very well, they don’t let themselves get overworked. They both stay calm, and it helps calm others around them.”“I guess the only comparison I would make is how we act on the court,” Allison added. “We are both really competitive, but neither of us says much on the court. She was a silent leader who led by her actions, and I try to follow that example.”After starting four straight years and setting countless defensive records for UW, Jocelyn has cast a pretty big shadow. Allison, though, is making an impression on the program with her own unique skills. One of three current Badgers to utilize the jump serve, Allison has proven to be a weapon out of the backcourt when her serve is on.“It is so hard to pass her jump serve,” Dolgner said. “I hate passing her in practice. She is really deceptive with it. It looks like it is going to go one way, but she adds this sidespin and it will go to the complete opposite side. When she is on, the opposing defense is kept completely off-balance.”Allison’s hitting also presents a unique look. Although she’s only listed at 6 feet (which is generous), Allison hits the ball in a way that not many defenders are used to.“She has a really heavy arm,” Dolgner said. “She can basically hit any shot she wants. When she hits it really hard, it floats, as opposed to coming down with topspin. So when she puts a good hit on it, the ball will come right at your face and almost take your head off. That is really difficult to adjust to when you are trying to dig the ball.”After receiving sporadic playing time during her freshman year, Allison has appeared in every set so far this season. Jocelyn earned playing time with her passing abilities, but Allison was taken off the court her freshmen year because of her inability to pass consistently.“Last year, passing-wise as a freshman, she was still getting used to the intensity and speed of the college game,” Bayer said. “Combined with the fact that we had three great passing seniors last year, she didn’t see much time in that role. This year, Allison came in a lot more comfortable with her role, and she has solidified a big passing role for us.”Allison attributes the extra year of experience to help her earn more playing time.“Coming into my second year here I realized how new everything was last year,” Allison said. “Last year, I was learning all new drills and trying to figure out how the defense sets up and stuff like that. This year, I am just focusing on making sure I execute, instead of thinking about what exactly I am supposed to be doing.”While some athletes may resent the comparisons to an older sibling, Allison has formed a close bond with her sister and tries to take advantage of Jocelyn’s experience.“It was difficult to get used to not seeing her here at practice,” Allison said. “She was always a steady leader and would help anyone with anything. That made it a little bit difficult to not have her on the team anymore. … She knows so much, and I still have a lot to learn. She still lives on campus, so she gives me hints and helps me out, which has made it easier on me.”last_img

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